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Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Reuse, Recycle…Compost?

Ugo Angeletti, an 18-year-old, and his sisters are in the process of starting a small revolution in the disposal of Miami’s household waste.

It shouldn’t be a big surprise that Miami has waste disposal pretty much backwards. Our garbage cans are emptied twice a week, but our recycling cans—once every two weeks. It’s comparable to our approach to transportation. We can’t seem to get some things right.


The Angettis - Ugo, Emma, Anna and Mila
And composting? While more progressive cities are far ahead of Miami, composting isn’t even on Miami’s radar. At least it wasn’t until Ugo, then a high school senior, enrolled in an environmental education class. As part of the class he developed a project to gauge how much waste his neighbors generated and how to dispose of it. In Ugo’s words, neighbors brought “tons and tons of food waste” in buckets every week. Eventually Ugo and his three younger sisters had set up a composting station at their South Miami home, collecting food waste from more than 100 homes in the neighborhood in buckets they carted around by bicycle. They called their project back2earth.

Meanwhile, Ugo graduated from high school and entered FIU, where, as a freshman, he is embarking on a career in marketing with a focus on agrarian ecology. Already he’s shown a strong talent for his chosen profession, having created a press kit, a website, and an array of social media channels to spread the word about back2earth.

In true entrepreneurial fashion, Ugo looked for an opportunity to expand the project. With help from $1,100 raised through a GoFundMe page, he found it in Coconut Grove with Alicia Kossick. She owns The Polished Coconut, a store that specializes in socially responsible, folkloric products from throughout the world, and she took him on as a protégé. The owner of one of the older wooden houses in Village West, Kossick helped Ugo and his sisters set up a station in her neighborhood. 

Starting in October, that house and its front and back yards, located at 3536 William Ave., became the setting of back2earth’s second composting station, which includes a garden. The composting bin is located right at the sidewalk. It contains clear instructions on the dos and don’ts of composting for the uninitiated. Vegetable and food scraps, coffee and tea leftovers, and pasta and rice can all be put in—but not meats and seafoods, greasy foods, and dairy products. 

Word about the station has spread rapidly. According to Ugo, the bin keeps filling up, but the back2earth team isn’t daunted. 

Learn more at back2earth.

— by Hank Sanchez-Resnik 

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If "the bin keeps filling up, but the back2earth team isn't daunted", why should the team be daunted? Does that mean people are filling the bin with meats, seafoods, greasy foods and dairy products? Can this be translated into worldwide toxic plastic pollution and our planet being overheated by ignorance? We need 10,000,000 additional Ugo's and his three sisters. Plus, I wager the City of Miami Code Enforcement Department will now take an interest in this bin! Gardens are not allowed in front yards. Good Luck.

December 04, 2018 7:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope Waste Management mafia does not stop them.

December 04, 2018 8:56 AM  

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